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Artificial Leaf Could Provide Cheap Energy 326

sciencehabit was one of several readers to tip news of a sunlight-harvesting artificial leaf, writing: "Nearly all the energy we use on this planet starts out as sunlight that plants use to knit chemical bonds. Now, for the first time, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created a potentially cheap, practical artificial leaf that does much the same thing—providing a vast source of energy that's easy to tap. The new device is a silicon wafer about the shape and size of a playing card coated on either side with two different catalysts. The silicon absorbs sunlight and passes that energy to the catalysts to split water into molecules of hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen is a fuel that can be either burned or used in a fuel cell to create electricity, reforming water in either case. This means that in theory, anyone with access to water can use it to create a cheap, clean, and available source of fuel."

Why Mac OS X Is Unsuitable For Web Development 831

Hugh Pickens writes "Ted Dziuba has an interesting and amusing post on how he made a big mistake when he was offered a choice for his company laptop. His options were a Lenovo Thinkpad or a MacBook Pro, and he picked the Mac, thinking it would be closer to what he was used to. So what's wrong with using the Mac as a development machine for Milo, a Python application backed by PostgreSQL and Redis? 'I've only poked around a little, but so far I've found three separate package managers for OS X: Fink, MacPorts & Homebrew,' writes Dziuba, adding that when you are older, you will understand the value of automated version dependency satisfaction. Next is that your development platform should be as close as possible to your production platform, but 'OS X and Linux have different kernels, which means different I/O & process schedulers, different file systems, and a whole host of other implementation details that you'll write off as having been abstracted away until you have your first serious encounter with "It Works On My Machine.'" Finally, he says, Textmate sucks. 'Sooner or later, you have to face facts. Man up and learn Emacs.'"

Is Open Source Different In Europe Than In the US? 399

An anonymous reader writes "The first Europe Open Source Think Tank just concluded and Larry Augustin posted some interesting observations on open source in Europe versus the US. Essentially, he says that users in Europe care more about the open source nature of a product than do US users. US users are just trying to save a buck while European users actually care about access to the source code. Do Slashdot readers observe the same thing? Are the reasons for using open source software different in other parts of the world as well?"

AVG Fakes User Agent, Floods the Internet 928

Slimy anti-virus provider AVG is spamming the internet with deceptive traffic pretending to be Internet Explorer. Essentially, users of the software automatically pre-crawl search results, which is bad, but they do so with an intentionally generic user agent. This is flooding websites with meaningless traffic (on Slashdot, we're seeing them as like 6% of our page traffic now). Best of all, they change their UA to avoid being filtered by websites who are seeing massive increases in bandwidth from worthless robots.

Microsoft 'Shared Source' Attempts to Hijack FOSS 381

aacc1313 writes "An article that details how Open Source is being hijacked by Microsoft and the sort via 'Shared Source' licenses and how Open Source licenses have become so much more confusing. From the article, "The confusion stems from the fact that Microsoft's 'shared source' program includes three proprietary licenses as well, whose names are similar in some ways to the open-source licenses. Thus, while the Microsoft Reciprocal License has been approved by OSI, the Microsoft Limited Reciprocal License (Ms-LRL) is not, because it allows users to modify and redistribute the software only on the Windows platform" and "The 'shared source' program was and is Microsoft's way of fighting the open source world, allowing customers to inspect Microsoft source code without giving those customers the right to modify or redistribute the code. In other words, "shared source" is not open source, and shouldn't be confused with it.""
Operating Systems

Gentoo On Server Considered Harmful 372

Siker writes in to point out his blog post — Why Gentoo Shouldn't Be On Your Server — which seems to have stirred up a lot of discussion, including a thread on the Gentoo forums. From the post: "I firmly believe in updating server software only when you need to. If you don't need new features, and things are working, why change anything? If you update anything you will undoubtedly need to update configuration files. You will need to fix things that break in the upgrade process... This is hard with Gentoo. Gentoo wants you to change a lot of stuff. It wants to be bleeding edge."

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